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How to Clean Dried Cat Urine From the Carpet

Anyone with a cat knows what a great pet they can be. Some are cuddly and sweet. Some are vicious hunters, hiding in the shadows and attacking your feet as you walk by. Some are mellow and like to laze in the sun. Cats all have their own unique personalities and traits that we love. 

But, one thing about cats that isn’t as lovable is when they have a tendency to pee on things around the house. This can be due to a variety of reasons. Maybe they’re trying to tell you that they don’t like their litter. Or, they could be marking their territory if they haven’t been neutered. Regardless, it’s a hassle to deal with getting the musky and potent scent of cat pee out of your bed, sofa, or carpet. 

Cat pee leaves a pungent and distinct smell behind. As soon as you notice your kitty has left its mark somewhere, you’ll want to take care of that in order to have an odor-free home. If you find yourself in this situation and need to know how to clean dried cat urine from the carpet, here are tips to help you. 

Why Dry Cat Urine Smells So Bad

How to Clean Dried Cat Urine From the Carpet
Dried Cat Urine on Carpet

Cat urine is special and unlike other animals’ urine because it contains more uric acid and ammonia. These two components which can be found in high levels in cat pee make it extra stinky. So, when cleaning it up, you’ll need to pay attention to using appropriate cleaning agents to target these. 

Locate the Source of the Cat Urine

If you’re able to find the cat urine while it’s wet, great! You can use some disposable napkins or paper towels to dab up the excess wetness before beginning the cleaning process.  Plus, you’ll know exactly where the spot is (hopefully you didn’t have to step in it to find it). 

But, if you weren’t able to find the cat urine while it was still wet, a UV light can help. The uric crystals in cat urine will be detected by the UV light’s rays. This will help you pinpoint the spot. Just turn the lights in the room out, and sweep the light around the room. You can consider using an item to place on the stop so you don’t lose it when the lights are back on. 

Enlist the Help of Enzymes

Many report having great success using an enzyme-based cleaner to clean dry cat urine. This is effective because it can target the chemicals in the potent cat urine and break them down to completely eliminate the particles and remove odors and stains. You can find an enzyme-formulated cat urine cleaner at local pet care stores.  Double-check the label to confirm that it’s non-toxic for children after use (the majority are, but it’s best to be safe). 

Although you can purchase an enzyme cat urine cleaner, making a DIY solution with things you probably already have at home, is just as effective. If you’d rather make your own enzyme cat urine cleaner, read on for tips about how to do this. 

How to Clean Dried Cat Urine

Once you’ve located the source of the smell, you can get to work cleaning it up.  You will want to consider what type of carpet it is to determine whether or not the cleaning materials are safe. For example, you might want to use a different approach when cleaning a cowhide rug.

What to prepare: 

  • Baking soda 
  • White Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Water 
  • Towels or paper towels
  • A sponge
  • A spray bottle
  • A vacuum cleaner
Cat urine on carpet

Step 1: Make Your Solution 

In a bottle, mix up about half a cup of vinegar, a cup of water, and a squirt of dish soap. Screw on the spray nozzle and shake it up. Set it aside. 

Step 2: Sprinkle the spot 

Next, use your baking soda to sprinkle onto the cat’s urine-tainted area. Cover the entire area. 

Step 3: Spray the Area 

Now you can use your homemade enzyme solution to spray the cat pee area and make sure you wet all of the baking soda. You will notice the reaction of the vinegar and the baking soda. These will work together to break down the cat urine and remove stains and odors. Now, you can let this treatment sit on the stained spot for about 10 to 15 minutes and work its magic. 

Step 4: Scrub It Clean 

After you’ve waited a bit, grab your sponge and start to gently scrub the carpet in circular motions. This will loosen any urine that’s deep within the carpet fibers. You can also dab the sponge in some water and wipe away excess baking soda from the area. 

Step 5: Dry It 

Use your towel or paper towels to pat down the spot. There will be baking soda residue but don’t worry about picking all of that up with your towel. Just get it as dry as possible. If you’re unable to totally dry down the area, wait a few more moments. 

Step 6: Vacuum up the Residue 

Once dried, you can easily vacuum up any bits of baking soda left behind. Just like that, the area on your carpet will be clear of any cat urine odor. 


If you’ve recently experienced finding dried cat urine in your home, cleaning it is necessary to keep a fresh and comfortable living space.  Although it can be a bit of a long process to locate and tackle the smell, it will be worth it to maintain your living conditions. Take note of how often your cat is spraying or peeing in your home, and talk to your vet about it if necessary. Even if you’re annoyed with your cat for urinating on your carpet, it’s hard to stay mad for long at your lovable fluff ball. I hope the resources in this guide can help you understand how to clean dried cat urine from carpets so that you can get back to cuddling your cat in an odor-free home. 

Frequently asked questions

How can I stop my cat from peeing in my home?

You could look into getting it spayed, or otherwise consult a vet to see if there are underlying issues as to why he is urinating in your home. 

Can I use something else instead of white vinegar?

To remove dried cat urine without white vinegar, consider using hydrogen peroxide or apple cider vinegar.

How do you get rid of dried cat urine smell?

Baking soda and vinegar can really help remove the smell of dried cat urine.  Baking soda has great deoderzing power, especially when used with vinegar.

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